Comparative Literature

What does a medieval French text have in common with a contemporary work of Petro-fiction? How does a play written in Norwegian become a film made in Iran? Is it possible to ‘read’ a garden? Comparative Literature at St Andrews offers students the chance to explore questions like these and more. You will read texts of all types across borders of language, period and genre.


Drawing on expertise from across all the departments of the School of Modern Languages and beyond, students are offered a highly-ranked, dynamic programme of study at both undergraduate and postgraduate level that considers the relationships that exist between literatures and cultures around the world.

Students are challenged to question their assumptions and critically engage with approaches and theories both established and new. Reading comparatively cuts across traditional national and disciplinary lines and allows students to push at the boundaries of textual analysis.

Comparative Literature is available as part of either a joint of triple Honours degree and does not require knowledge of a foreign language. Students will have the option to study abroad for up to a year of their degree.


The MLitt in Comparative Literature is a one-year taught postgraduate degree run by the School of Modern Languages. The degree comprises a variety of theoretical and comparative modules alongside a 15,000-word dissertation completed under expert supervision. An alternative two-year taught dual MLitt/MA in German and Comparative Literature is available in conjunction with the University of Bonn, Germany.

While all staff in the School of Modern Languages welcome proposals for PhD supervision, please contact the Head of Programme on in the first instance.

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